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Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) have been shown to be associated with negative outcomes in adulthood and risk factors for psychopathology.
To assess mental representations of children underwent to ACE administering a recently developed semi-projective method: the Coffy Test.
To compare mental functioning of children who underwent to one or several adverse life events with the one of a control sample of non referred children.
The sample, recruited at the Neuropsychiatry Unit after adverse life events occurred, was composed of 40 children (21 male, 19 female) (Mage= 108.10 months; SD= .26).
The control sample was composed of 160 children (86 males, 74 females) (Mage= 108.80 months; SD = 21,10). Children were administered the Coffy Test, which is a new projective method focused on assessing possible elements of distortion in emotional processing within the relationship with parental figures in middle and late childhood (Cardi, Leonardi, D'Amico, Battista, 2012).
Coffy Test scores of the sample underwent to ACE and the control sample did not differ significantly neither for gender nor for age. However, the differences of the Coffy Test scores between the two groups were statistically significant (U = 1.26, p < .0001). Only 4 children in the ACE sample reported a score higher than the median of the control one.
The Coffy Test score suggested that children underwent to ACE had a worst mental functioning and thus may be exposed to the risk of developing psychopathology in adulthood.
A growing body of research has indicated that difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) are associated to eating disorders as well as to weight changes. However, it has not been clearly investigated the intergenerational transmission of ER and its role on the onset of early feeding and weight problems of the child.
The goals of the present study are: 1) to examine the relationship between maternal ER during pregnancy and the feeding practices at 8 months of the baby; 2) and to assess the predictive role of ER on the onset of overweight at 3 years of age.
The sample is made up by 65 dyads distributed to 2 different groups based on their BMI. During pregnancy they were administered DERS. 8 months after the delivery they were videotaped during the meal time with baby through the Feeding Observational Scale (Ammaniti et al., 2002). Weight outcome of the baby was reported by the mother at 3 years of age.
Findings has shown that overweight mothers emerged as more emotional dysregulated during pregnancy. Their feeding interaction with the baby was also featured by greater difficulties compared to the control group. ER during pregnancy was able to predict the affective state of the dyad and the interactional conflict during the mealtime at 8 months. The affective state of the dyad at 8 months predicted the weight gain of the baby at 3.
The maternal and the dyadic emotional functioning play a key role in shaping the risk for childhood obesity.
Pregnancy represents a critical life stage for its physical and emotional changes. Maternal thoughts are often oriented to the worry to lose control on their body, and to their new physical shape. According to this, literature on eating disorder (ED) highlights how pregnancy is usually associated to a temporary interruption of the dysfunctional eating habits due to the move of concerns about the self and the body toward the caregiving of the baby.
The goal of the present study is to explore the impact of generalized difficulties in emotion regulation (as a stable trait) versus specific difficulties in emotion regulation (as pregnancy-related) in women with pre-pregnancy eating problems.
The sample is made by 15 women previously overweight and recruited during their 3<sup>rd</sup> trimester of pregnancy. The following measures were administered: Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), Emotional Difficulties Specific to Pregnancy Scale (EDS), and the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI).
Preliminary findings have shown how higher scores on the DERS Impulse scale as well as higher difficulties in handling emotional states related to pregnancy (e.g. fear of the delivery) are associated to the existence of dysfunctional eating behaviors during the 3rd trimester.
Emotion regulation has emerged as a transversal skill during the life cycle. Difficulties in this area seem to represent a stable trait in the individual functioning, with the risk to affect the eating behaviors, as well as the health of the mother and the baby during pregnancy.
Several caregiving activities appear to be compromised by postpartum depression including breastfeeding, sleep routines and well-child visits, such as vaccinations and safety practices. Previous studies highlighted the need for universal screening of maternal and paternal depression, as well as the establishment of early interventions during the postpartum period such as the infant massage for their infants.
The goal of the present pilot study is to purpose the neonatal massage as an intervention to decrease the depressive symptoms of the couple during the post partum period.
Depressive symptoms were evaluated through the Edinburgh Postnatal Depressive Scale (EPDS; Cox, Holden & Sagovsky, 1987) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, Brown, 1996) at 3 months of the baby. In the following 4 weeks, the couple was trained to touch the baby through the neonatal massage techniques. Their interaction was videotaped and assessed through the Assessment Tool for Observation of Mother/Father-infant Interaction (Dumas, Bystrova, Widstrom, 2005). At the end of the training, depressive symptoms were evaluated through the same measures.
Preliminary findings have shown lower scores of depressive symptoms on the EPDS, and the BDI in both mother and father after the neonatal massage took place. Also parents reported lower complaints of the baby in several area.
Early intervention during the postnatal period of life of the family may lead toward a greater functioning of the couple, and to a greater sensitive approach with the baby.
Literature on parents’ adjustment in families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children highlights on one hand that raising a child with ASD represent a higher stressful experience comparing to families of children with other disabilities and families of children with typical development. On the other hand, a recent systematic review on relationship satisfaction of these parents stressed the very lower levels of couple satisfaction in parents raising a child with ASD. Give that, the aim of this study is to investigate the association between relationship satisfaction and parental stress in a sample of parents of ASD children.
70 parents were recruited (34 = M and 36 = F) to sign the following self-reports: Parenting stress index-short-form (PSI-SF), to assess stress relative to parental role, and dyadic adjustment scale (DAS), to assess couple satisfaction.
The analysis showed no differences between mothers and fathers respect to investigated variables. Negative correlations between almost all subscales of the PSI-SF and the subscales of DAS emerged. Moreover, from the regression analysis performed, it can be concluded that the values of the total score of the DAS predicts the PSI-SF total score.
In accordance with and building on the achievements of previous studies, these data illustrate a positive influence of couple adjustment on parental stress in parents of ASD children, supporting the hypothesis that relationship satisfaction emerge as a protective variables in the process of parental adaptation.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Literature on parents of children affected from cleft lip and/or palate has described the risk of higher levels of stress and anxiety during the pre-surgery period. To the best of our knowledge, just one study has empirically investigated the differences in the psychosocial adjustment of both mothers and fathers, but information on the pre-surgery period were not given. Given that, the aim of the current study is to evaluate the psychological functioning of both parents waiting for the child operation.
Data from 34 Italian parents (F = 18; M = 16; Mean age = 36.62, SD = 6.07) of children affected by cleft lip and/or palate (Mean age = 12 months; SD. = 13.75 months) were collected during the pre-hospitalization visits. The following questionnaires were administered, respectively to mothers and fathers: PSI-SF, MSPSS, PACQ, DAS and FACES-IV.
Data shows no significant differences between fathers and mothers on the total score of each variable taken into account. Differently, significant differences emerge on the “Self Blame” PACQ subscales.
Mothers and fathers seem to share the same psychological experience during their child pre-surgery period. To note, our preliminary data highlight the maternal perception as featured by a greater sense of guilty for the child's disease. The feeling of guilt may be a risk factor for the parental ability to cope with the experiences of the child's illness, influencing parental care giving and parent-child relationship.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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